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CAFCC: ‘Never say die’ spirit in Lagos, as Kwara United stun Champions, RS Berkane

Kwara United edged RD Berkane 3-1 in the first leg of the second preliminary round of TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup.

Early pressure from Abdellah Benchikna’s side saw them get one over Kwara United just seven minutes into the game.

Elmedi Oubillas’ cross into the box from a corner kick was converted as Chieck Ouattara rose highest to put the away side in front.

Berkane nearly got a second in the 11th minute, as Adama Ba released Issoufou Dayo, but the defender strike went wide.

Kwara Utd settled into the game and they came close to getting an equaliser in the 13th minute, with Goalkeeper Hamza Hamiani taking out Wasiu Jimoh’s rasping strike from 15 yards out.

Kwara Utd kept pressing on to get an equaliser and came close once again in the 36th minute, as Hamza Hamiani came off his line to deny Samson Paul who evaded the tackle of Bakr El Helali before poking the ball.

There was a moment of controversy as Kwara Utd’s free kick taken in the 37th minute struck the arms of Elmedi Oubilla, but the referee opted for a corner kick for Kwara Utd, which eventually saw Hamza Hamiani make a stunning close range header save.

Berkane took the one goal lead into the second half.

The second half started on a bright note for Kwara Utd as they continued from where they left off in the first half.

The home team made 2 quick substitutions as Taofeeq Ahmed came on for Samuel Chisom, and Ayobami Junior for Paul Samson on the 49th minute as the scoreline remained 0-1.

Kwara United increased the tempo of the game as Wasiu Jimoh hit the woodwork in the 56th minute from a good cross from Taofeeq.

Ahmed Taofeeq once again blasted the ball wide in the 68th minute, after he was set up by forward, Wasiu Jimoh.

Clearly the better side in the second half, the home team deservedly got the leveller in the 72nd minute through Issa Gatta, as he poked home a well worked ball from Taofeeq Ahmed.

Not relenting after the equaliser,  Kwara United’s forward Jimoh, who had been a torn in the flesh of the opposition all through the game bulldozed his way and bent it past Rs Berkane’s Hamza Hamiani and whisked away in celebration as Kwara United went ahead for the first time in the game.

Barnabas Daniel headed the ball beyond the outstretched arms of Hamza Hamiani in the 87th minute as Kwara Utd got their seal. Ayobami Junior’s work rate in the game finally Brought that.

As the game tilted towards the end, the home team fans gave all the needed support with a loud noise inside the Mobolaji Johnson Arena as we approach added time.

Kwara United could have won by more goals, no thanks to big chances being missed by the Afonja Boys but they will take the 3-1 win over the stubborn North African side .


Timothy Dehinbo

Timothy Mopelola Dehinbo is a Student, Sports Journalist and a Community Development Enthusiast. The ‘Interviewer’ as he fondly calls himself, proves to a fault as he has rightly built his portfolio through drive and passion for the Nigerian football Society. Starting his Journalism career at the prime age of 16, His vast array of works includes Sports writing, blogging, radio analysis and everything Sports Media. He has had the opportunity to work with Media houses like CompleteSports, NaijaFootballPlus, SoocernetNG, live radio stations across Lagos and Akure to mention a few. Many of his Interviews with Players and Coaches in the Nigerian Professional Football League, NPFL, as well as Other African Football Stars centers around the Nigerian & African growth in sports. The likes of Emmanuel Amuneke, Pitso Mosimane, Kalusha Bwalya, Sebastian Desabre and many more. TImothy is extremely addicted to the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL. A student of Mathematics in the Federal University of Technology, Akure, when you do not find Timothy dissecting the intricacies of a Football Game, he is knee deep in Community Development Programs and activities performing his duties and responsibilities as the Co-Founder of King Homes Charity where the development of Children living in Underserved Communities through Quality Education are his Top priorities.

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